For admissions FAQs, please visit the FAQs page of the LL.M. applicants section of this site.
1. What are the degree requirements for the UNC LL.M. program in United States Law?
Minimum of 24 credit hours, including the two required courses, and a cumulative grade point average of 2.25.
2. What courses may LL.M. students take at UNC School of Law?
Upper-level courses assuming prerequisite requirements have been met with the exception of clinic offerings, trial advocacy and externships. With approval of the LL.M. Faculty Director and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, LL.M. students may enroll in large sections of first-year courses.
3. What are the areas of academic strength of UNC School of Law?
UNC Law School has particular strengths in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property, environmental law, health care law, human rights, international and comparative law, and public law and regulation.
4. May I concentrate my course work in a particular field, and may I get a specialized degree?
UNC's LL.M. program has no formal concentrations or specialized degrees; however, students may concentrate their studies in the areas of their own special interest.
5. Is a thesis required, and is it an option?
Writing a thesis is not required, and most students choose instead to take additional course work, often concentrating courses in a field of particular interest. With approval of the LL.M. Faculty Director, interested students may be allowed to complete a thesis for six hours of credit.
6. Am I permitted to take courses in UNC graduate departments outside the law school?
Yes. With approval of the LL.M. Faculty Director, students may enroll in up to three hours of approved law-related, graduate level coursework offered by the University in schools or departments other than the law school.
7. How will an LL.M. degree from UNC help in my career?
Training in American law and legal institutions will aid international lawyers involved in an increasingly global legal and economic market, particularly in arranging international transactions. The training offered in the legal reasoning process employed in American law, unfamiliar to lawyers outside the United States without such academic training or experience, will broaden career opportunities for LL.M. graduates. This degree is an important and widely recognized credential for professional advancement throughout the legal world.
8. When does the LL.M. program begin?
The LL.M. program beings with a mandatory orientation session approximately two weeks before the first official day of classes. Orientation serves as a meeting period to front-load the two required LL.M. classes: Foundations in United States Common Law and United States Legal Research and Writing. This gives students a head start to prepare them for their other classes with JD students. This also allows LL.M. students to finish these classes before exams in their other classes begin.
LL.M. orientation begins mid-August, typically the second Monday of August.
Law school classes begin the last week of August.
9. Are LL.M. students permitted to apply for transfer to the J.D. Program?
UNC School of Law LL.M. students are permitted to apply for transfer to the J.D. Program if they achieve a grade point average in courses taken with J.D. students that places them in the top 1/3 of the 2L class. The top 1/3 mark is identified each fall by the Career Development office (CDO). The cutoff GPA is generally higher than 3.5. Grades received in the two required LL.M. courses, which are taken exclusively by LL.M. students, are not included in the average.
Decisions on admission are made by the J.D. admissions office, with input from the LL.M. Faculty Director. UNC LL.M. students so admitted will be allowed to transfer credits to the J.D. program earned in regular J.D. courses while they were LL.M. students. Credits will not be transferred for either of the two courses required exclusively for LL.M. students. LL.M. students allowed to transfer into the J.D. program after completion of the LL.M. program will receive only the J.D. degree upon successful completion of the J.D. requirements.
LL.M. students from a law school outside of UNC School of Law's LL.M. Program are not eligible to apply as a transfer student to the J.D. program. All such applicants outside of the UNC School of Law's current student body are to fulfill the requirements of both the traditional J.D. application process and the three-year J.D. course requirements the same way as any applicant to the J.D. program.